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Situation of older artists in Canada

Senior Artist Research Project

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February 26, 200926 February 2009

For the first time ever, an influential group of Canadian arts organizations is joining forces to look for ways to do more to support Canada’s senior artists (that is, artists in all disciplines who are 65 and over). The Senior Artists’ Research Project is the first-ever assessment of the situation and needs of older artists in Canada. The goal of the project is to conduct in-depth research and implement solutions to the difficulties faced by Canada’s senior artists (65+), many of them the founders and creators of the cultural fabric of our country.

The project’s Steering Committee includes:

  • Actors’ Fund of Canada
  • Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists (ACTRA)
  • American Federation of Musicians, Canada
  • Canadian Actors’ Equity Association
  • Canadian Artists’ Representation (CARFAC)
  • Canadian Music Centre
  • Cultural Careers Council of Ontario
  • Dancer Transition Resource Centre
  • Directors Guild of Canada

  • * PAL Canada Foundation

  • Union des artistes
  • Writers Guild of Canada
  • Writers’ Union of Canada
  • Carol Anderson (Dance Artist/Writer/Educator)

    The project has established a small secretariat, led by Joysanne Sidimus, founder and former Executive Director of the Dancer Transition Resource Centre (

  • Five key categories of services have been identified by the project’s Steering Committee: housing; health; career needs; social needs / isolation; and financial.

    Initial research activities focussed on international programs, services and associations to learn more about how they support older artists. Below are brief summaries of programs, services and associations that support older artists in 14 countries, largely in Europe. This fall, researchers will examine the situation and needs of Canadian senior artists.

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